Let’s talk about 찜질방!
That is jjimjilbang (make sure you pronounce the last syllable as bahng not bang) which is better known as a Korean bath house. They may sound scary at first but they are actually very relaxing and fun to go with friends.
I am going to highlight the steps that I experienced when I went to jjimjilbangs in Korea that seem to be pretty standard
- Register at the front desk
- Separate men and women to single sex locker rooms and bath rooms
- Undress in locker rooms and go to bath rooms to shower, scrub each other’s backs (if you are with friends or family), and you can also relax in hot baths
- Go back to the locker rooms and dress in clothes that they provide which are matching shorts and tee shirts
- Enter the lobby area where men and women are together. This is where the most time is spent. You can just relax, talk, sleep, eat, pretty much anything!
- On the edges of the lobby area are hot rooms. These are like dry saunas. You sit or lay in them and let your body sweat. This helps release toxins from your body and feels surprisingly good.
- Lastly, you can spend the night at jjimjilbang or just go home :)
Overall going to a jjimjilbang is a strange but exciting experience. Check out this website by the Korean Tourism Department that explains much better than me!